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The World Bank engaged Bridging Peoples to facilitate a workshop with local governance experts from Nepal, South Africa, Mozambique and India, and senior officials in the Government of Timor-Leste. The purpose was to share learnings between the countries, and discuss implications for draft legislation governing villages in Timor-Leste.

In close consultation with senior Timorese Government officials, Bridging Peoples Director Deborah Cummins worked with World Bank staff to design the workshop format to inspire new ideas and encourage laws and policies that work for the cultural context, rather than presenting certain systems as ‘best international practice’. During the workshop, visiting experts were invited to present the pros and cons of their country’s approach on core policy issues, with time for government officials to delve into particular areas and identify the main policy debates as they related to local governance in Timor-Leste.


Many policy recommendations from this workshop were adopted in the legislation that was subsequently drafted, in particular strengthening the legal focus on encouraging citizen engagement.